Joining us from the rural milling town of LaParte County, Indiana, Brandon Baltzley has been following a culinary vision since the age of 9 to the present day, and it has taken him just about everywhere in the United States and parts of Canada. His recently acquired but not-yet-open restaurant, TMIP at Exterior Farm, in rural Indiana is set to open in the spring of 2014 under the directive of all things local, artisan, and sustainable. He is the founder of CRUX, a ‘nomadic culinary collective’ based out of Chicago that seeks out the natural environment of chefs all over the United States and parts of Canada. Baltzley travels to the various regions and works with the chefs in what he calls “a truly equal relationship between everyone involved, with no barriers on what we do or where we do it.”
His experience garnered from working top positions in some of the best kitchens of the United States, Baltzley’s talent and creativity for innovative cooking has not gone unnoticed.
His is a cautionary tale that speaks to a generation of hardcase cooks, and the silver lining that came in the form of a book deal. The autobiographical work offers a window into a dark and vivid cycle of struggle, survival, and revival that has both plagued and forged his path through life. His story has captured notable attention and the name Brandon Baltzley continues to gain momentum and frequent representation among industry headlines.
I left the low country a little over seven years ago, eyes forward, no looking back. I had my sights on greener pastures, even if those "pastures" were actually concrete-ladened parks and brownstones taller than most buildings in Savannah. At the time, I...